(Here’s the original letter unedited)
Motel homeless “suffocating” tourism is the headline in the Sunday Star Times 9/5/21 for a full page article.
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said the “potential” for reputational damage was concerning and that the Rotorua Economic Development, the council controlled organisation responsible for promoting the city, was “working to address perception issues through marketing campaigns that are under way, both in New Zealand and Australia”.
Labour List MP Tamati Coffey thinks it is incorrect information that some of our community leaders are promoting and just plain negativity.
Its a pity the Mayor was not concerned before the damage was already done. Rotorua’s reputation is already in tatters and will
require more than damage control. The homeless motel reputation is known nationwide, and by expats in Australia, the word is already out there, but more importantly can a valuable reputation once lost, be repaired?
“A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.” — Joseph Hall
The answer is not some PR spin or spending more money on marketing to try and cover up the problem, as visitor’s experiences
will be shared by “word of mouth” or social media, which are more effective forms of advertising.
The solution is to address the problem and solve it.
The residents and business community of Rotorua will not be able to “breathe a sigh of relief” as long as the city’s leaders have their heads in the sand.
The Ambassador Thermal Motel located in the heart of the city where multi-millions are being invested in a spa resort, extravagant lakefront renovations, QE health spa, has recently been disclosed as in the process of being sold to an emergency housing motel provider.
Mayor Steve Chadwick has stated she wanted Rotorua to be the Spa capital of New Zealand, the inaction over the large volume of homeless motel situation has now landed Rotorua in “hot water”.